Over the past few days, speculations have been rife that Indian film production and distribution company Red Chillies Entertainment will be the principle sponsors of Kolkata football giants East Bengal FC as they seek an entry into the Indian Super League (ISL). However, it seems not to be true as The Bridge can confirm that the Shahrukh Khan-owned company are not going to be associated with the Red and Golds for a future tie up.
When asked about the recent rumours regarding East Bengal’s new investor, a top East Bengal official, on the condition of anonymity, told The Bridge, “Red Chillies is not at all the company we are in talks for the investment. People started to think about them as our probable investor after the Chief Minister’s involvement but I can assure that this is not true. Ms. Banerjee is helping us a lot with the necessities at this moment and we are awaiting for the final talks with our potential investors after this lockdown.”
It all started when Quess Corp., the current investors of East Bengal club, announced that they will terminate their agreement at the end of the season. Over the last couple of months, ever since Mohun Bagan merged with ATK FC and secured a pathway to the ISL, rumours have been doing the rounds that the Kolkata giants, buoyed by potential investors, are gearing up for their long-awaited entry into the league as well.
When asked about the expected sponsorship and investment structure, the official made a clear statement about the club’s preference. He said, “It will not be a multi-sponsor deal. Rather, it will be a proper and complete investment from the companies we are talking with. The club is in talks with an international fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company and we expect things to be finalised soon”.
The official further added, “We are aware of the stipulated time before which we have to announce our future plans and we believe we can come up with all the necessary requirements for the ISL entry very soon.”
Quess East Bengal FC the entity formed after East Bengal’s tie up with Quess is all set to dissolve on 31st May and the club is expected to make further statements about its future after that. Besides, East Bengal has almost finished their domestic players' recruitment for the upcoming season and are in talks with some foreign players whom they will confirm once the government and the AIFF comes up with the detailed guidelines regarding the post-pandemic working VISA. It is expected that things are going to have more clarity in a couple of weeks as the lockdown situation gradually eases across the country.